Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Reader's Diary #174- Jim Green: North Book (FINISHED)

One of the best things about poetry books is their size. A mere 55 pages and you're done! Ready to take on the next one...

I wasn't crazy about Jim Green's poems. For the most part he seemed to over-rely on merely cataloguing the images around him. While I do appreciate good imagery, I found that too many of these poems tried to pass off lists of scenery without offering much in the way of emotion or mood.

Also, he had a thing for caesuras. I don't have anything against these per se, but he threw them in a little too often and most always I couldn't rationalize why. For example,

inside a snug tent
on a dark (space*) windwhipped
day of rain.

-from Netsiksiuvik

But it would be a rare collection indeed if I couldn't find one poem to salvage, and Green's book is no exception. A great one is "The Fish Eye Poem". Here his imagery is masterful as he retells an experience that occurred during an ice-fishing expedition. His prize catch is laying upon the ice and he turns around to see a local boy pop out the eye and eat it. The poem ends with the narrator (Green, I assume) staring into the vacant socket. I think he completely captured the idea of shock in that single image.

*There is an actual space in the above line, but blogger won't allow me to leave one for some annoying reason. Anyone know how to code it?

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